Prime Time Palm Beach County
Now in its eighth year, this project evaluates the evolving programs and policies of Prime Time, an intermediary organization that seeks to improve the quality of afterschool programs in Palm Beach County, Florida. The first five years of study explored the development, piloting, and expansion of the Quality Improvement System, a low-stakes training, support and quality assessment effort. During the past three years, Chapin Hall researchers have examined the implementation and initial effects of the Palm Beach County-Afterschool Educator Certificate (PBC-AEC) Program, which launched in fall 2009. The core of this program is a series of workshops in which staff from afterschool organizations engage in hands-on practical applications of youth development practices and principles, are offered financial incentives during and after training, and are connected to parallel professional development efforts.
During the first two years of PBC-AEC study, researchers focused on a subset the program’s short- and longer-term goals, including increasing practitioner knowledge, identifying and overcoming barriers to implementing PBC-AEC training back in the afterschool workplace, and increasing a sense of professional identity as afterschool practitioners. During 2011-2012 Chapin Hall researchers are examining the job retention history of practitioners who have completed PBC-AEC training, exploring data sources for possible ongoing performance management measures, and working with Prime Time staff to understand and identify the potential of PBC-AEC training to have impacts on student-level measures. As a part of this work Chapin Hall researchers are conducting surveys, focus groups, in-person interviews, and using administrative data sources.